JAX London 2014: A retrospective
Dell & Intel back service provider

Mirantis to tap into Asian OpenStack goldmine with Chinese funding

ChrisMayer
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Consultancy startup say Dell, Intel and WestSummit funding round will be used for development and growing China presence

OpenStack has a big year ahead. The drive to entice vendors towards the cloud infrastructure project continues, but now it’s a case of which long-standing member will push hardest with an OpenStack solution in the coming months.

Dell and Intel believe the time to move is now, uniting to pump $10m into fellow OpenStack Foundation member, Mirantis, who help firms deploy OpenStack clouds based on vanilla source code. The funding round from their investment arms (Dell Ventures and Intel Capital), alongside Chinese company WestSummit Capital should help pave the way to get their upcoming public cloud products into the enterprise environment.

Service integrator Mirantis has already built up an impressive pedigree in its three year tenure. An early OpenStack advocate and code contributor, the startup boasts 30 OpenStack deployments at companies such as Hewlett-Packard, NASA, PayPal and AT&T. In a press release, Mirantis say “the investment will be used to accelerate Mirantis’ growth in the OpenStack market.”

The Register say much of that will go toward “expanding R&D” notably the development of a library of pre-packaged OpenStack deployment and management APIs, which Mirantis may pursue as a commercial option later on separately. It also plans to up its OpenStack involvement, with 15 paid engineers (up from 4) set to work on the project through the course of 2013.

With WestSummit’s partnership, Mirantis are in the ideal spot to tackle the OpenStack untapped goldmine that is the Asia-Pacific, specifically China. A recent Beijing OpenStack summit drew 1,000 attendees, nearly on a par with the official Grizzly Design Summit in October, suggesting the appetite for the technology in the country is great.

Mirantis already hold close ties with the two tech giants, helping Intel build out its public cloud and contributing to Dell’s open source cloud installer Crowbar. Dell intended to release its OpenStack distribution at the end of 2012, before pushing it to the end of this year, hinting that maturity might be some time off yet.

Despite this alliance, Mirantis says it “will remain true to its focus of providing a vendor-neutral implementation of OpenStack, free of lock-in hooks or proprietary packaging.”

Despite offering tools and components to the OpenStack puzzle, Mirantis’s goal isn’t to compete with the heavyweights with its own distribution. Mirantis’s consultancy role could prove pivotal in deciding which distro comes out on top. Its expertise and talent pool are in high demand, as vendors seek advisors in joining up OpenStack’s myriad of components together in a strong proprietary solution.

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